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The Photoshop Blog offers the latest Photoshop news and software updates, Photoshop tips and tutorials, and random thoughts from graphic artist and Photoshop expert Jennifer Apple.
More Photoshop And Graphic Design Tips And Tricks From Jay Nelson
Here's another collection of Photoshop and graphic design tips and tricks by Jay Nelson, the editor-in-chief of Design Tools Monthly.
The Best Image Sharpener
Nik Software's Sharpener Pro 3.0 is a plug-in for Photoshop or Aperture that takes the guesswork out of sharpening an image. It lets you visually presharpen a RAW image, without amplifying noise and artifacts. If you want to selectively sharpen areas, you can either select them by color or use Photoshop's painting tools to apply sharpening (with variable pressure, if you use a Wacom tablet). Optionally, your sharpening work can be saved as a mask on an Adjustment layer for further refining, or added to a Smart Object.
When you're ready for output, you select your intended viewing distance and output medium (traditional halftone, dye sublimation, inkjet, digital photographic or display), and then Sharpener Pro analyzes the image and adjusts sharpness according to the amount of actual detail in the image and its effect on your intended output. It even adjusts for your specific brand of inkjet printer, and you can preview the on-screen before committing it to paper. ($200 - Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - NIKPSS - during the checkout process at Nik Software for an instant 15% discount on any Nik Software product. )
Replace Scanners Every Two Years
Newspaper technology guru Kevin Slimp made an unusual, but valuable suggestion recently: "Replace your desktop scanners every two years. Actually, every 18 months is a better idea. Scanners lose their quality after 18 months or so, and users spend all their time trying to clean up noise they didn't create. Fortunately, scanners cost less than a dinner for two at a nice restaurant." He likes scanners from Epson.
Resize Browser to Standard Sizes
Drag to Insert Pages into PDFs
In Acrobat, you can drag a PDF from your desktop onto the Pages panel of a different PDF file. When you let go, the pages from the desktop PDF are inserted into the active PDF -- wherever you drop them.
Visually Adjust Color to Black and White
When using the fantastic feature in Photoshop that lets you convert a color image to black and white (Image> Adjustments> Black and White), you can fiddle with the sliders to achieve the effect you desire, or… you can simply click and drag on areas of the image to make them lighter or darker. Drag to the left to make them lighter. Drag to the right to make them darker. Simple!
Group Your Layers
Complex Photoshop files have lots of layers. You can improve your sanity by creating groups of layers (Layer Groups) that you can select and move together. Just select the layers you want to group, and then press Command-G. This puts them into a little folder in the Layers panel, which is also helpful for keeping your thinking straight about which layers belong together.
Sample Colors From Anywhere
It's not obvious, but you can use Photoshop's Eyedropper tool to sample a color from anywhere on your display -- from a Web page, for example. Just click and hold the eyedropper on your Photoshop document, then drag over to wherever your desired color is. The trick is to not let up on the mouse button until the tool is over the color you want.
Reselect in Photoshop
In Photoshop, you can reselect the last selection you used by pressing Command-Shift-D or choosing Reselect from the Select menu. Photoshop remembers your last selection no matter what else you do in the meantime. So, even after doing all kinds of things you can still get back to your last selection by pressing Command-Shift-D.
Copyright Issues for Designers
What can you legally do with other people's creations? And what can they legally do with yours? Do you need a model release for photos of a public event? How about using copyrighted material "just for a comp"? For clear answers to these and many other copyright issues that relate to artists and graphic designers, see the series of articles by Linda Joy Kattwinkel, an artist and attorney for Oliver, Kattwinkel & Sabec, at www.oliversabec.com/about_our_firm/legalities.htm
Next time you find yourself stuck for inspiration, try clicking over to Getty's http://moodstream.gettyimages.com. You dial in a mood from their presets: Inspire, Excite, Refresh, Intensify, Simplify and Stabilize. Images and video footage from their collection appear in a slide show, set to music that matches the mood. Then you can fine-tune the mood with sliders for Happy/Sad, Calm/Lively, Humorous/Serious, Nostalgic/Contemporary, and Warm/Cool. You can also indicate your preference for color vs. black and white images. When you see something you like, you can pause the stream and add the image to your "mood board" for future reference (and purchase, of course).
Get almost 200 free textures at www.lostandtaken.com. A handy Search field helps you find what you're looking for.
Buy Photoshop Directly From Adobe
Find upgrade options and Creative Suite deals at the Adobe USA Store. UK customers can see pricing in UK currency at the Adobe United Kingdom Store. Visit the Adobe Special Offers Page to find the latest bundle and upgrade offers. Teachers and students receive special pricing at the Adobe Education Store. Download the Free Photoshop CS4 Trial Download at the Adobe site.
Photoshop CS4 Tutorials and Resources
See our Photoshop CS4 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS4 Tutorials, the Free Photoshop CS4 Trial Download, Free Photoshop CS4 Training, and Photoshop CS4 News.
Photoshop CS5 & Photoshop CS5 Extended - Best Deals From Adobe
Adobe Photoshop CS5 delivers breakthrough capabilities to help you create images with impact. Refine your images with reengineered photography tools for removing noise, adding grain, and creating high dynamic range (HDR) images. Get precise results when making complex selections. Remove any image element and see the space fill in almost magically. Paint with naturally textured brushstrokes and realistic color blends. Learn more about Photoshop CS5.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended software helps you create the ultimate images for print, the web, and video. Enjoy all the state-of-the-art editing, compositing, and painting capabilities in industry-standard Photoshop CS5, and experience fast performance thanks to cross-platform 64-bit support. Also create 3D extrusions for logos, artwork, and motion graphics; edit 3D objects with advanced tools; and create and enhance motion-based content. Learn more about Photoshop CS5 Extended.
Find CS5 upgrade options and Creative Suite 5 deals at the Adobe Store. See CS5 pricing in UK currency at the Adobe UK Store. Visit the Adobe Special Offers page to find the latest deals. Save 80% on Adobe Student Editions. Try before you buy — download a free Photoshop CS5 trial.
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium software gives you fresh new creative tools, along with the ability to deliver ideas faster in print and create interactive content without writing code. Plus Design Premium integrates with Adobe CS Live online services to maximize your design time by streamlining critical nondesign tasks.
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium combines Adobe InDesign CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, Flash CS5 Professional, Dreamweaver CS5, Fireworks CS5, and Acrobat Pro with additional tools and services. Download a free CS5 Design Premium 30 day trial.
Photoshop CS5 Tutorials & CS5 Resources
See our Photoshop CS5 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS5 Tutorials, and the Free Photoshop CS5 Trial Download. See our Photoshop CS4 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS4 Tutorials.
Exclusive onOne Software 15% Instant Discount Coupon
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - PSSPPT06 - during the checkout process at onOne Software for an instant 15% discount on any onOne product. This includes Genuine Fractals and their amazing Photoshop Plug-In Suite.
OnOne’s new Plug-In Suite solves six of the most frequent problems photographers will encounter in Photoshop. This suite has been granted American Photos Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for Top Image Editing Software. The Plugin Suite includes:
Genuine Fractals Pro is renowned by both photographers and printers for its finesse at increasing images to more than ten times their original size while maintaining the sharpness and detail you started with. Think of this as the industry standard for image resizing.
Mask Pro is used to remove the tough stuff — such as hair, smoke and glass — while retaining the fine detail. You choose what colors to keep, then paint away what you don’t need.
PhotoTools Pro packs hundreds of high-calibre photographic effects into one user-friendly plug-in. It’s fast and easy to use. Gives your photos that pro quality look.
PhotoFrame Pro lets you enhance your pictures with hundreds of such design effects, or simply drop your image into a pre-fab layout in Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.
FocalPoint helps to control focus and minimize visual noise. Draw the eye to specific points in your images by using selective focus, depth-of-field and vignette effects.
PhotoTune lets you can compare images side-by-side and easily color correct and enhance them. PhotoTune optimizes the dynamic range, color and sharpness of your image without the need to know all the complicated controls in Photoshop like levels and curves.
Simply enter our exclusive discount coupon code - PSSPPT06 - during the checkout process at onOne Software for an instant 15% discount on any onOne product.
Nik Software 15% Instant Discount - Exclusive 15% Coupon
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - NIKPSS - during the checkout process at Nik Software for an instant 15% discount on any Nik Software product. This exclusive discount coupon code can be applied to all the latest Nik Software Photoshop plugins, including Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Sharpener Pro, and Dfine.
Color Efex Pro
52 photographic filters with over 250 effects for professional quality images. Completely Original. Completely Indispensable.
Nik Software Color Efex Pro filters are the leading photographic filters for digital photography. The award-winning Color Efex Pro filters are widely used by many of today's professional photographers around the world to save time and get professional level results. Whether you choose the Complete Edition, Select Edition, or Standard Edition, you’ll get traditional and stylizing filters that offer virtually endless possibilities to enhance and transform images quickly and easily.
Patented U Point technology provides the ultimate control to selectively apply enhancements without the need for any complicated masks, layers or selections. Control color, light and tonality in your images and create unique enhancements with professional results. With 52 filters and over 250 effects found in Color Efex Pro, you can perform high quality retouching, color correction, and endless creative enhancements to your photographs. Download a free Trial version.
The most powerful tool to selectively control color and light in photographic images without the need for complicated selections or layer masks.
Two of the most important factors in creating great photography are color and light. Mastering the art of selectively correcting or enhancing each of these is now possible for every photographer without the need for complicated masks or selections, or expert-level knowledge of Photoshop. Integrating award-winning U Point technology, Viveza is the most powerful and precise tool available to control light and color in photographic images.
U Point powered Color Control Points, placed directly on colors or objects in an image (such as sky, skin, grass, etc.), reveal easy-to-use controls that photographers can use to quickly adjust brightness, contrast or color in a fraction of the time needed by other tools. With Viveza you’ll spend more time shooting photographs and save hours of image editing. Download a free Trial version.
Silver Efex Pro
Complete power and control to create professional quality black and white images in one convenient tool.
Silver Efex Pro from Nik Software is the most powerful tool for creating professional quality black and white images from your photographs. For the first time, all the advanced power and control required for professional results have been brought together in one convenient tool.
Featuring Nik Software’s patented U Point technology to selectively control the tonality and contrast of the image, Silver Efex Pro includes advanced imaging algorithms to protect against unwanted artifacts, a comprehensive collection of emulated black and white film types, a variable toning selector for adding traditional toning techniques, over 20 one-click preset styles, and a state-of-the-art grain reproduction engine that help produce the highest quality black and white images possible from your color images while providing more freedom to experiment. Download a free Trial version to use Silver Efex Pro.
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - NIKPSS - during the checkout process at Nik Software for an instant 15% discount. This exclusive discount coupon code can be applied to all the latest Nik Software Photoshop plugins, including Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Sharpener Pro, and Dfine.
Exclusive 15% Discount On All Topaz Plugins - Use Coupon Code PHOTOSHOPSUPPORT - Includes Bundles And Upgrades
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code PHOTOSHOPSUPPORT during the checkout process at Topaz Labs for an instant 15% discount on any Topaz product, including bundles and upgrades.
Topaz Labs Photoshop plug-ins are specifically designed to expand a photographer's creative toolbox by harnessing powerful image technology developments. Photographers everywhere are now taking advantage of the creative exposure effects, artistic simplification, unique edge manipulation, and top-of-the-line noise reduction offered in Topaz products. The Topaz Photoshop Plugins Bundle is a super powerful Photoshop plugins package that includes the following Topaz products:
Deliver stunning and dynamic images with this uniquely powerful plug-in that features HDR-like abilities and enhances exposure, color and detail.
A three-level detail adjustment plug-in that specializes in micro-contrast enhancements and sharpening with no artifacts.
The fastest and most effective masking and extraction program with one-click mask refining.
Highest-quality noise reduction plug-in that removes the most noise and color noise while preserving the most image detail.
Provides creative simplification, art effects, and line accentuation for easy one-of-a-kind art.
Take control of the detail depth of your images with extensive smoothing, texture control and edge enhancement tools.
Drastically improves the quality of web images and other compressed photos.
Learn more about the Topaz Photoshop Plugins Bundle. Download a free trial version.
Photoshop Masking Plugin Fluid Mask - Exclusive Instant Discount
The 4 1/2 out of 5 star review of Fluid Mask at MacWorld begins by saying that this "Photoshop plug-in takes the pain out of extracting backgrounds," and goes on to recommend the latest version, stating that "Fluid Mask is a very effective tool for separating objects from their backgrounds. It offers a variety of useful features for tackling almost any difficult image, from wispy hair to complex foliage. Online video tutorials and live training sessions help ease the learning curve."
Our friends at Vertus, the makers of Fluid Mask Photoshop Plugin, have set up a special exclusive discount for PhotoshopSupport.com. Go to our Fluid Mask page for a special, exclusive discount link.
Fluid Mask is designed for photographers, image editors, graphic designers and all those who take digital image editing seriously. In a streamlined interface and workflow, Fluid Mask instantly shows key edges in the image and provides comprehensive easy to use tools that work with difficult-to-see edges and tricky areas like trees & lattices. Fluid Mask will also preserve all-important edge information for a professional quality cut out. Go to our Fluid Mask page for more info.
lynda.com Online Training Library - View Free Video Clips
Subscriptions to the lynda.com Online Training Library provide anytime access to tens of thousands of video tutorials covering Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, web design, digital imaging, 3D, digital video, animation, and many other topics. View free video clips.
For less than a dollar a day, members have the opportunity to stay current and keep skills sharp, learn innovative and productive techniques, and gain confidence and marketability - all at their own pace. Premium subscriptions include instructors’ exercise files so that members can follow along with the exact examples onscreen. Customers learn at their own pace and may stop, rewind, and replay segments as often as necessary. View some free video clips (high resolution).
Did You Know You Could Create An Entire Website In Photoshop?
SiteGrinder Photoshop Plugin - Create Websites Instantly
There often seems to be a strict division of labor within the world of web design and development. Creative professionals tend to stick to the Photoshop domain, while those well-versed in scripting are left to the task of implementing their work. Indeed, the two realms are quite different from each other, to which any of us even vaguely familiar with either can easily attest.
Essentially, Photoshop is a no-holds-barred design studio, offering the artist a seemingly endless array of creative options. On the other hand, HTML, CSS, Java and the like follow strict rules of engagement, requiring the developer to take any number of esoteric concerns into consideration in order to ensure that designs are properly displayed on the web.
Turn Photoshop Into A Complete Web Design Tool
SiteGrinder seeks to bridge this gap between design and development. Basically, SiteGrinder turns Photoshop into an easy-to-use and fully functional web design tool. With SiteGrinder, designers will now have the freedom to totally let their creativity loose and then, without skipping a beat, transfer their designs to the web. Bringing esthetic concerns together with more practical considerations, SiteGrinder is an amazingly powerful tool that would make a fantastic addition to any web designer's bag of tricks. Mac OS X and Windows versions of the SiteGrinder unlockable demo are available now via download.
Photoshop CS4 Essential Skills - By Mark Galer And Philip Andrews
Brimming with beautiful pictures, Photoshop CS4 Essential Skills guides you through a project-based, progressive curriculum so that you can build all the essential skills to enhance photographs creatively and professionally with Photoshop CS4. If you are an aspiring professional or a student learning photography, digital imaging, or design graphics, you'll be amazed at the stunning results you can achieve. A DVD is included free.
The Essential Skills Photography Series from Focal Press uniquely offers a structured learning experience for photographers of all ages, with both the underlying theory and loads of invaluable 'how to' and real-life practice projects - all from the most talented photography practitioners/educators in the world.
Read 2 free sample chapters:
Skin Retouching Tips In Photoshop CS4
Transforming Smart Objects In Photoshop CS4
Find more Photoshop CS4 tutorials on our Photoshop CS4 Tutorials Page.
Read 2 free sample chapters from the Adobe Photoshop CS3 version:
Adjusting Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw CS3
Photoshop CS3 Tutorial High Dynamic Range
Find More Adobe Photoshop Books at Amazon.com
Find all the latest bestselling Photoshop books at discount prices at Amazon.com.